osewalrus (osewalrus) wrote,

NRA Fail

As a veteran Washington guy, I understand that when you are backed into a corner and there is all kinds of anger and hysteria at you and your membership is in a high state of panic about being abandoned to the wolves of popular opinion of the moment, it is tough to say anything that will go over well. And silence doesn't help either. But frankly, this is the moment when you and your high-paid messaging guys earn their corn.

Today's NRA speech will go down in history as the most epic political fail since Rechobam told the Children of Israel: "my father beat you with whips, I shall beat you with scorpions." (Kings I Ch. 12) To go out and suggest that the solution is to put armed guards in the school, combined with pointing the finger of blame in a dozen odd directions, has confirmed the worst stereotypes about the NRA (and, by extension, its members and supporters).

And yes, the NRA had other options. Some of them are more weasely than others, but that is what your lobbying group is for dammit! They are supposed to be able to weasel while still staying true to the basic principle. Here are options NRA could have used instead (just to be brief). These can all mix and match.

No One Can Stop The Random Crazy: None of the laws suggested in the last few days can ever hope to keep our children completely safe. The random acts of madmen are not stopped by stripping law abiding citizens of their freedoms.

Bait and Switch/long delay: The NRA has always supported responsible gun use and safety. We must carefully study the events of this tragedy to see what sensible precautions and changes are needed. While we share the grief and outrage, it would be counterproductive to impose new laws and restrictions that do nothing to stop the murder of innocents, but instead deprive law-abiding and responsible citizens of the tools of self-defense. The NRA will work with Vice President Biden to devise new policies and practices that are both effective in preventing tragedies like those in Newton and do not punish responsible, law-abiding citizens.

The price of liberty As Americans, we understand that our belief in personal liberty can make us vulnerable. Our commitment to free expression requires makes it harder for us to stop cyberbullying. Our commitment to due process means that even the most vile criminals receive a fair trial and assistance of counsel. Our commitment to the freedom of millions of law abiding Americans who own guns so that they may hunt, enjoy target shooting, or feel secure in their homes unfortunately leaves us vulnerable to tragedies such as this.

There are, of course, others. C'mon NRA! You took a week and came up with this? And you guys are supposed to be professionals.

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